STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 4, Number 6

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42 STiR tea & coffee industry international / Issue 6, 2015 (December/January) By Alf Kramer São Paulo, Brazil In a country rich in coffee history Isabela Raposeiras and the Coffee Lab she founded is a modern pioneer and champion of Brazil's specialty coffee. Can anyone be both a pioneer and newcomer in coffee? Raposeiras is an inspiration to anyone embarking on a new coffee endeavour. "I want to show the world that Brazilian coffee can be more than they thought it could be," she says. Raposeiras has a coffee pedigree, but arrived late to coffee compared to most baris- tas. Her grandfather fled to Brazil as a refugee in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). A road builder he purchased a parcel of land and began growing coffee. Romantic as it may seem, Isabela did not spend her childhood weeding, pruning, picking, and drying coffee cherries. Her family relocated frequently. She attended high school, travelled to the US living in Idaho Falls, Idaho as an exchange student while studying psychology at the Universidade Paulista and on returning worked as a flamen- co dancer, actress, English teacher, semi-professional rollerblader, and cigar-smoking pilot who remains addicted to Formula 1 racing, to mention a few of her undertakings. She recalls grandfather Galica Raposeiras displayed a passion for innovation. "He was one of the first in Brazil to invest in mechanical coffee dryers. He was well ahead of his time, perhaps too far ahead, as a coffee farmer and above all as a coffee processor," she said. Creative energy After returning to São Paulo she needed a job. Any job. In 2000 her family had opened a restaurant in Paraty, in Rio de Janeiro. She said that it was here she first became curious about what it took to deliver a good product to customers. A Contemporary Coffee Pioneer Award-winning barista, and Coffee Lab founder Isabela Raposeiras

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